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Malia's Story: Heart to Heart

Malia Sanchez - Cardiomyopathy Patient

At just 2 years old, Malia Sanchez, a patient at Children's Hospital in New Orleans, LA, was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy. When her heart did not respond to previous treatments, doctors implanted a Berlin Heart device with hopes that she could receive a heart transplant. Pediatric heart transplants are not offered in Louisiana, so Malia was referred to Arkansas Children's Hospital for treatment. Malia begins her journey to Arkansas Children’s Hospital with the Angel One team arriving in New Orleans, LA, to transport her back to ACH. She has a Berlin Heart implant; this device requires extensive planning and care when transporting, so much that it has only been attempted a few times. Her trip to ACH marked the first time a child with a Berlin Heart had been transported in Arkansas. After just a few weeks of waiting, Malia’s mother gets that most important phone call: the one telling her that a life-saving heart transplant for her daughter is imminent. Malia’s surgery turns her life around in the weeks that follow, and the team celebrates with a party on the day before she leaves the hospital.

Watch the story of Malia Sanchez, diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, as she receives a heart transplant.